The Royal Shakespeare Company in association with Kiln Theatre present


by Sanaz Toossi

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‘In this room, we are native speakers. We think in English. We laugh in English. Our inhales, our exhales – we fill our lungs in English.’

A classroom in Iran. Four adult classmates grapple with learning English as a foreign language. As they attempt to perfect their accents, pronunciation and vocabulary, they realise that there is more to their lives than can ever be uttered through language.

This comic and deeply moving play by Sanaz Toossi won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2023.

Playwright and Director Diyan Zora directs. Recent work includes Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles (Chichester) and Tom Fool (Orange Tree Theatre).

Transferring direct from its European premiere at Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Other Place Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, English is presented in association with Kiln Theatre.

Important Information

Post show Q&A: Tue 18 Jun, 7.30pm

Access Performances

Captioned performance: Thu 20 Jun, 7.30pm
Relaxed performance: Wed 26 Jun, 2.30pm
Touch Tour: Thu 27 Jun, 6pm
Audio Described performance: Thu 27 Jun, 7.30pm
BSL Integrated performance: Thu 4 July, 7.30pm, Interpreted by Anna Kitson | BSL Consultants: Nadeem Islam, Maral Mamaghanizadeh

Access Resources

British Sign Language Synopsis: Watch
Visual Storyboard: Download 
Audio introduction: Listen

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1 hour and 30 minutes, no interval

‘A whole, rich world inside this single classroom’

- The Stage

‘Dazzling, clever and moving’

- The Times

‘Engaging, provocative and moving’

- WhatsOnStage


- Brum Hour


- The Reviews Hub


- All That Dazzles


- East Midlands Theatre


- Curtain Call Reviews


Nadia Albina


Nadia Albina plays Marjan. Her theatre credits include: Hecuba, Othello, The Merchant of Venice (RSC); Maryland, Living Newspaper: 5, Told from the Inside, New and Now (Royal Court Theatre); Emilia (Vaudeville Theatre); Dear Elizabeth, I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre); The Madness of George III (Nottingham Playhouse); Emilia, Macbeth, Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe); Macbeth (National Theatre); Quiz (Chichester Festival Theatre); What if Women Ruled the World? (Manchester International Festival); Five Plays – You Are So Relevant (Young Vic); A Stab in the Dark, Show 5: A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts, Show 4: Glitterland, Show 3: Chamber Piece, Show 2: A Streetcar Named Desire, Show 1: Woyzeck (Secret Theatre); Reasons to be Cheerful (Graeae/Southbank Centre/New Wolsey); Shakespeare 365, Henry V (Orange Tree Theatre); The Iceberg (En Masse Theatre Co, Royal Exchange Theatre); The Red Ladies (The Clod Ensemble); Nabokov Shorts (Trafalgar Studios) and Good (Sound Theatre). 

For television, her work includes: Passenger, A Thousand Blows, Hidden Hand, You, Great Expectations, Vampire Academy, Silent Witness, The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself, Sherwood, The Power, Doctor Who: Flux, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Innocent, The One, Year of the Rabbit, Home, Years and Years, Marcella, Trauma, Paralympic Opening Ceremony, Come Fly With Me, Whites, Doctors and Beautiful People; and for film, For Life and Making It.  

Sara Hazemi


Sara Hazemi plays Goli. Her theatre credits include: A Guest (Vaults Festival); Half Empty Glasses, The Ultimate Pickle (Paines Plough); A Sudden Violent Burst of Rain (Paines Plough/Gate Theatre); Tales From Hans Christian Anderson (Guildford Shakespeare Company); Oedipus at Colonus (Cambridge Arts Theatre) and Footlights Pantomime: Red Riding Hood.For television, her work includes The Crown, The Cockfields, This Is Going To Hurt and Magpies Love Mirrors; and for film, Fugue and Benson. 

Lanna Joffrey


Lanna Joffrey plays Roya. Her theatre credits include Sister Radio (Pitlochry/Traverse/Tron/Perth/Lemon Tree/ Derby/Byre); I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre); The Time of Our Lies (Park Theatre); The Eyes of the Night (Cervantes Theatre); Muse of Fire, Sonnet Walks (Shakespeare’s Globe); A Thousand Splendid Suns (Old Globe/ Arena Stage/A.C.T./Seattle Rep); Soulless Ones (Hoxton Hall); Cause (Vaults Festival); The Profane (Playwrights Horizons); Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, Timon of Athens, Julius Caesar (The Factory); The Two Noble Kinsmen (Instant Classics); They Promised Her the Moon (Old Globe); Measure for Measure, Sad and Merry Madness (The Public); Richard III, Hamlet (Epic Theatre); Valiant (Edinburgh Fringe/Theatre503/Women & War Festival/JW3/WOW Festival Folkstone/NYFringe); Nine Parts of Desire (Lyric Stage/Kitchen Theatre); 1001, The House of the Spirits (Denver Center); The Strangest (HERE Arts); The Comedy of Errors, The Inspector General (CO Shakespeare Festival); Metamorphoses (Capital Repertory); Damascus (Northern Stage) and Five Kinds of Silence (Boundless Theatre).  She is a company member of The Factory, Barefoot Theatre, Hyphen Artist Collective (Founder) and the Membership Lead of MENA Arts UK.  

Nojan Khazai


Nojan Khazai is an Oxford School of Drama graduate who will make his RSC debut in the role of Omid. This will also be his professional stage debut.

Serena Manteghi


 Serena Manteghi plays Elham. Her theatre credits include Bleak Expectations (Criterion Theatre); The Hound of the Baskervilles (UK Tour); Hamlet (Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre); Eurydice (Holden Street Theatres, Adelaide); Build a Rocket (Stephen Joseph Theatre/UK tour); The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Stephen Joseph Theatre); Echoes (Brits Off Broadway); My Mother Said I Never Should (The Other Place); The Railway Children (Kings Cross Theatre); HEART (Traverse Theatre); Mucky Kid (Theatre503); Agammemnon (Southwark Playhouse); Some Small Love Story (Arts Theatre) and The Beggar’s Opera (York Theatre Royal). For television, her work includes The Diplomat, The Other Half and Mrs Wilson; and for film, Miss Jihadi and Harvest.  

Creative Team

Sanaz Toossi


Sanaz  Toossi is an Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, California. Her plays include the critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning English (co-production Atlantic Theater Company/Roundabout Theatre Company) and Wish You Were Here (Playwrights Horizons; Williamstown/Audible, released 2020). She is currently under commission at Atlantic Theater Company (Launch commission; Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant), Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (American Revolutions Cycle).

She was the 2019 P73 Playwriting Fellow, a recipient of the 2020 Steinberg Playwright Award, the 2022 recipient of The Horton Foote Award and, most recently, the 2023 recipient of the Best New American Play Obie Award.

Sanaz received her MFA from NYU Tisch.

Diyan Zora


Diyan is a British Iraqi theatre director and writer based in London. As winner of the 2021 Genesis Future Directors Award, Diyan directed Klippies by Jessica Sian at the Young Vic Theatre. Diyan recently formed part of the Bush Theatre’s 2022 Emerging Writer’s Group.

Theatre includes: Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles? (Chichester Festival Theatre); Tom Fool (Orange Tree Theatre); KlippiesmMs Y. (Young Vic); Consent (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama); Lysistrata (Lyric Theatre Springboard); Gather Ye Rosebuds (Theatre503); Twelfth Night (Cockpit Theatre); Othello (Barons Court Theatre) and Sticks and Stones (RADA).

As Associate Director: LOVE (National Theatre/ European Tour); Faith Hope and Charity (National Theatre) and The Ferryman (Gielgud Theatre).

As Assistant Director: Fireworks (Royal Court) and Evening at the Talkhouse (National Theatre).

Anisha Fields


Elliot Griggs

Lighting Designer

George Dennis

Sound Designer

Maria Tarokh

Movement Director & Cultural Consultant

Lottie Hines CDG

Casting Director

Edda Sharpe

Voice, Text & Dialect

Sara Amini

Assistant Director, Text & Dialect